Tumour the 'size of a golf ball' found in man's head during routine eye test

WS 291020 Brain Tumour
Doctors told Dean Wright the tumour was almost the size of a golf ball and could have been disabling or even life-threatening Credit: Media Wales

A man had his life potentially saved after a visit to a Cardiff opticians for a routine eye test.

Dean Wright's eye test in 2018 resulted in an eight-hour operation to remove a cerebral meningioma - a non-cancerous brain tumour - after his optician thought his optic nerve looked swollen.

He said: "When a tumour is that size, people suffer crippling headaches or blackouts, but I didn't."To me it was just a normal day, a normal check-up."

After his optometrist Tahira Rahman had concerns over the condition of his optic nerve, he was referred to the University Hospital of Wales (UHW) in Cardiff for further tests.

Following the operation to remove it, doctors told him the tumour was almost the size of a golf ball and could have been disabling or even life-threatening if it had grown further.

Dean said: "It's easy to assume that a sight test is just to check your vision, but it’s much more than that.

"During my visit I learnt very quickly that it's more than just an eye test and choosing new glasses. For me, there was a lot more at stake."

Dean said he suffered from losses of consciousness in the days following his operation and has not been able to drive since. However, he has returned to work on light duties.He spoke out about his experience as part of Brain Tumour Awareness Week, which runs from October 24 to 31.

Around 16,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with brain tumours each year, according to the Brain Tumour Research charity.

There are estimated to be more than 60,000 people living with a brain tumour.

Tahira Rahman, Dean's optometrist, said: "Dean's story is a case in point about why we continue to stress the importance of regular sight tests – at least once every two years – to our customers."They are a 'must do', not a 'should do', as your eyes can often provide an early indicator of wider health conditions, regardless of whether you've had any symptoms of illness or not."If anyone has any concerns about their eye health, or notices a change in their vision, it is always best to seek the advice of an optician as quickly as possible."